Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here we go again...

Well you've got to commend them for their good timing. Only a week has gone by since the election and already the American Humanist Association has rolled out a new anti-God ad campaign that will be displayed on DC Metro during the holidays.

I usually try not to get worked up over this sort of nonsense, but the article rightfully suggests to follow the money for this organization, and you'll get a greater insight into the hostility behind this ad campaign.

Louis Appignani recently gave the AHA a $1 million gift, and incidentally founded the U.N. office for the AHA that is named after him. In his 2005 rant entitled "Roadmap to 2050 and a Humanist World," Appignani states very extreme views against religious beliefs (emphases in bold are my own):
Obsolete, literally medieval religious mythology continues to delay progress in ethics, culture, and the sciences. It must be replaced wherever possible by the humanist outlook.

Religious institutions should be viewed as historical and ceremonial artifacts only-as ancient legacies on a par with European royalty and breathtaking old cathedrals: charming, perhaps, but ultimately without purpose except as tourist attractions. Already, very few citizens of developed countries take their religion seriously-with the glaring exception of the United States. An argument can therefore be made that the United States represents a backward intellectual culture.

As the human race evolves, individuals must develop a heightened ethical consciousness based not on the Ten Commandments or other supposed commands of God but on the consequences of human actions in this world.

Interesting world view to say the least. In other words, Appignani is advocating that we do whatever we feel is right for ourselves until it reaches a point that it has consequences and causes "ethical re-evaluation." There's another word for this and it's called being unaccountable for our actions. It's also called the easy road. It's hard to believe and follow God because we are constantly in conflict with His righteousness and our natural design/inclination to do what is WRONG, and that is the heart of the problem with this ad that is going to run as it purports that all we have to be is "more good than bad" and everything will be okay. What I would LOVE to ask these people is: "according to what or who's standard?" Ridiculous!

On a related note, to illustrate the AHA's cluelessness even more, Appignani's Institute for Humanist Studies has come to believe that voting in churches must be stopped because (I will paraphrase) "people who vote in churches tend to vote more consistently with Biblical beliefs than in other voting venues so if they didn't vote in a church they would vote differently." Uh, NEWSFLASH, genius: it's called voting consistently with your beliefs. I guess that's a confusing concept since you have to have moral convictions and beliefs in order to vote in accordance with them. Try not to laugh out loud when I tell you that the "research" cited was a Stanford study led by S. Christian Wheeler, associate professor of marketing, who said of his study:

"Environmental cues, such as objects or places, can activate related constructs within individuals and influence the way they behave," says Berger. now an assistant professor of marketing at the Wharton school. "Voting in a school, for example, could activate the part of a person's identity that cares about kids, or norms about taking care of the community. Similarly, voting in a church could activate norms of following church doctrine. Such effects may even occur outside an individual's awareness."

Again, ridiculous. I DO vote in a school and if the school system wanted to take out a bond to borrow money, and I happened to disagree with it, I'm not going to be influenced to change my vote to "yes" just because my polling place happens to be a school...that is essentially what this study is saying.

Remember though that it is this flawed logic that the Institute of Humanist Studies is holding up as validation of their "beliefs" (do atheists have those?) Oh, did I mention that Dr. Wheeler is all of about 35 years old? Being 37 myself, I'm not knocking him for his physical youth, but I am expressing a bit of skepticism towards the idea of attaching the word "expert" to an associate professor that has spent his entire life inside the bubble of academia.

I digress...back to the ad. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that they chose to depict a guy in a Santa suit, since, after all, that ISN'T what Christmas is about? But I guess to an atheist Christmas IS all about buying STUFF. Seriously, don't be complacent -- it's part of their subtle subversion of their real premise, and that is to remove the core and original belief that the holiday is all about celebrating the ultimate gift from God -- His Son...who died for all of us and our sins...including the godless.

My recommendation: Go to Zazzle and (WARNING!: shameless self-promotion) order my new sticker and stick them all over these ads (if you ride Metro).

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